NRA challenges gun control group’s survey findings

Ahead of the National Rifle Association annual convention, a gun control group published survey results showing a majority of gun owners not so happy with the NRA.

The survey from Americans for Responsible Solutions shows 67 percent of those polled saying they strongly or somewhat agree that the NRA has been “overtaken by lobbyists and the interests of gun manufacturers and lost its original purpose and mission.”

The NRA questioned the accuracy of the poll results. “This was a poll paid for by a gun control group, so it’s not surprising that the so called ‘results’ further their agenda,” said Jennifer Baker, an NRA spokeswoman, to Politico.

Baker added that the gun lobby’s strength is derived from its five million members and the millions of gun rights supporters who vote. “The majority of Americans oppose gun control and they made their voices heard this past November,” she said.

On behalf of ARS, Public Policy Polling surveyed 661 gun owners between April 19-20. Twenty-six percent of those polled said they were NRA members. Approximately 50 percent said they voted for Donald Trump, while 43 percent indicated they voted for Hillary Clinton.

Views on specific gun policies aside, other surveys have shown mixed perspectives on the NRA but consistency along ideological lines.

In 2015, Pew Research found views of the NRA have become more politically and ideologically polarized. Forty percent of Americans said the NRA has too much influence, 36 percent say the group has the right amount, and 17 percent say too little.

Also, Pew’s results showed an overwhelming majority of Republicans saying the NRA had the right amount of power or too little. Whereas 68 percent of Democrats thought the organization has too much.

Gallup in 2015 found that a majority of Americans hold a favorable opinion of the NRA, with 58 percent expressing positive feelings toward the gun lobby.

Gallup’s results also showed a split down ideological lines with 77 percent of conservatives and 56 percent of moderates expressing favorable support for the NRA. And then 78 percent of gun owners expressing a favorable opinion of the NRA.